Friday, October 26, 2012

A Blast From The Past!

This weekend my boys and I are headed to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX, were I will be getting caught up on a few projects and they will be splashing down water slides with a bazillion other people who DON'T have broken arms! LOL

As we drive down the Interstate I am taken back twenty, OK thirty something years to a time when we drove this same route several times a year. It isn't the scenery or the road construction that takes me back, although BOTH seem relatively unchanged. No, its the selection of music we have chosen.
As Journey's Great Hits pumps through the speakers I remember sitting in the back seat of my parent's Midnight Blue GMC Safari listening to this exact same... well, cassette tape. LOL My dad has always been pretty passionate about his music and no road trip was complete without a decent selection of Journey, Chicago, REO Speedwagon, CCR and Paul Simon!

I remember "holding it" until my eyeballs floated because my dad didn't like to stop. I can hear my mother's nervous voice instructing us to "put our seatbelts on", anytime we got into a congested area or one where construction had it down to two lanes with chain link and pylons separating the traffic. But mostly I remember the music! I knew the words to every single song and still do. Usually my mom and brother were asleep by the first hour of the trip, so it was just me and my daddy. Listening to HIS music, which later became MY music, watching the passing cars and landmarks that I had come to know. Many of those landmarks are no longer there, some have changed and grown more modern with time, My dad and I have certainly changed, but the one constant is the music. The music that I am now sharing with my little guy! The music that at times doesn't even make sense, speaks of love, loss and living. The music that ties together the days of my childhood with those of my son's.

Road trips with my daddy are few and far between these day, but I can honestly say they aren't much different. There's a little more talking... just a little, but the music is still there. The worse his hearing gets the louder the music is, but that's ok by me, at least we can still listen together!

I'm grateful for those trips and will be sad when they are completely a thing of the past!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

You know you've sunk to an ALL TIME low when you threaten to get rid of the dogs!!

This last week has really been a hard one. Maybe it's because Randy was out of town, or because I did WAY to much, or maybe it was because my appointment with the surgeon opened up more questions than it answered. Regardless of the WHY, it's the WHAT that made an impact.

You see, keeping my house in order has become pretty much the bane or my existence! The boys started out helping in every way, but as time has gone by, and I have gotten a little more mobile, they seemed to be slacking off a bit. The frustration of not being able to do just exactly what I want to do, coupled with the added stresses of the last few days, took me to a place I'm not proud to talk about.

In an attempt to get their attention, I threw that typical "I need more from you boys" mom fit that we have all had from time to time. The difference this time was that it got out of hand and I fought dirty. With Randy out of town the dogs had not been waking me up to go out at night. Instead, they decided to sneak off to the back bedroom to handle their business. Well, I had had my fill of cleaning up doggy accidents so I did it! I said we were getting rid of them. Once it was out of my mouth, the reaction it brought gave me a strange sense control. I have felt out of control for so many months that I grabbed a hold of it with both hands!

Do you ever do that? Not just take things too far, but take them so past far that far is no longer even in sight? Why do we do that? Why is our need for control so overwhelming? Why do we give it so much power?

I'll tell you why... because we are human! Clinging to our own abilities is in our nature, while clinging to God is not something we do with ease. I'm not saying it's foreign to us, because we all have that need and desire to draw to Him, it's just not easy.

**Insert that all too common saying here..."If it were easy then everyone would do it".

Well I disagree, I think it IS easy, it's US who make it hard! Whether we like to admit it or not, worldly desires are very appealing. It takes a conscience effort to turn from the world and all of it's evil. That's right I said evil! The material needs are, in my opinion, the least of our worries when it comes to this world. I believe it hinges much more on pride, and pride is most definitely an EVIL!

Pride will make you do some crazy things and assure you that anything that benefits YOU is good. Well folks, I'm here to bust our bubble! Pride will never lead you to the Father! The only thing that will do that is laying EVERYTHING down at the foot of the cross.

So next time you feel pride sneaking in, whether it's thinking how great you are at a task or how good you are at your career, or yes, even thinking empty threats will give you the power to turn all eyes on you, I encourage you to take a step back and drop it all right then and there.
Then I encourage you to RUN! Run to the Father! Take refuge in Him and let Him remove that pride from you life!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Have YOU soared the skies with dinosaurs lately?

About a month ago we took a quick trip to Lubbock for the weekend to go to the Science Spectrum. This place is three floors of stimulation for ALL of your senses! They also have an IMAX theater that we were all excited to try. Okay, not all of us, I had to really twist Braydon's arm to get him to agree to it. Well, I should have left it alone and just stayed back with him while everyone else went to see it because I DID NOT have any idea what I was in for.
Braydon LOVED IT! He thought it was the coolest thing and wanted to go back to see the next one. I, on the other hand, could not tolerate it at all! I paid the Science Spectrum of Lubbock, Texas $6.00 to take a 45 minute nap!

WOW! While everyone else was flying through the sky with dinosaurs I was ducking my head in my hands hoping not to throw up! I did make it through without losing my lunch though, so I was thankful for that! LOL

We got a great deal on rooms at the Embassy Suites! The rooms were so nice and the inside of the hotel was WAY COOL! The pool was a little small and since it was a holiday weekend it was FULL of kids, but other than that it was great! The free breakfast was AMAZING!! We're talking amazing buffet, made to order pancakes, waffles, french toast and omelets; not your average continental breakfast, that's for sure!!  If you're traveling to Lubbock I highly recommend this place!!

We also ate at Applebee's while we were there too. This was my first experience with an Applebee's and by the looks of the clientele (not a single guest under 60) I did not have very high expectations! But much to my surprise it was TERRIFIC! Apparently, we just hit it right before most of the church goes got there for Sunday lunch and this was just the "Early Service" crowd. I had the Oriental Salad with crispy chicken and it was TO DIE FOR!! I have honestly been craving it since then!

So, if you're coming through Odessa and pass an Applebee's on your way I would love one! hint hint

All and all it was a really nice trip! I can't wait til I'm able to travel and really enjoy it! This arm is really cramping my style!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

New life brings new construction... and NOT of the new baby in the house variety!

So what do the Donner boys do on the first cold day of Fall? Dig a holes, that's what!

Earlier this summer we decided to downsize our pond in something a little more manageable with a hard side liner rather than a tarp liner. This served two purposes, one it made it a little easier for me to cleaner; because let's face it, the boys aren't sticking their hands in there and cleaning out the gunky filter, and two, the new location was closer to where I sit on the patio in the morning to have coffee.

Well not long after this picture was taken, the fish proved to have other plans. You see all those awesome new plants we put in there this year? Well those provided great hiding spots for eggs to be hatched and tiny little fish to hide out. In recent years most of our new fish didn't make it past the egg stage, they were just too easy to get to and the other fish would turn them into a nice snack. But with all the new hiding places this year, they were able to grow to make it out alive. Now our pond is teaming with new goldfish and possibly a couple of new sucker fish too! Well this calls for a bigger and better pond! So my sweet boys are digging it out this weekend. We are hoping to have it completed before the end of the month, but that will depend on what my arm will allow. Obviously I can't give them COMPLETE control!! I have to put my touch on it and that is going to be much more difficult than in years past. But for now I'm just thankful for these two amazing men in my life! They both know how much this pond means to me and what a labor of love it has been. So the two of them spending the weekend digging, digging and digging some more is such a sweet thing! I am so blessed! Pics to come very soon of the progress they have made and hopefully pics of a completely new pond won't be too long after!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can you teach and old dog new tricks?

I guess it's safe to say that I am no longer the young hip mom I always thought I was! Today I was "attempting" to play a video game with my son, emphasis on attempting, and even though he was so patient with my ruining his active game I failed miserably! Video games have come along way from Super Mario Bros. and I just COULD NOT get the hang of it. As I hand him my controller and admitted defeat he says "I guess maybe the saying is right... you can't teach an old dog new tricks". WOW, and old dog? OUCH!! It's true I am not as able to keep up with him as I once was, but seriously. Am I really OLD? My parents are OLD, my elementary school teachers are OLD, but not me... right??

Well I am choosing to say that it's not an issue of age, but rather interest! I know if I REALLY put my mind to it I could figure out how to play and most likely DOMINATE that game! That's just not where my interest lies. I think this is where the communication loss is alot of times with our children. I used to get so aggravated with my mom because she seemed to want us to come in from school and LOOK for things around the house that needed to be done. This wasn't where our interest was though, in most cases our interest was in an after school snack, a couple of cartoons and in later years that all important phone call from someone who now we probably don't even remember.
My mom, on the other hand, had interest in running her household and raising responsible and contributing members of society.
Now I see through those same eyes. So how do we get our children to understand that before they're adults? How do we get them to understand the importance of well placed interests? Well, when someone figures that out I would love to know, but for now I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I think just might be working.

1. I try to always rationalize with my child. My hope is that if he understands that we are all working together for the same cause and that these are things he WILL NEED to know how to do on his own that he will take a more active role in helping out. I don't want him to feel like I'm just barking orders at him with no real purpose other than wanting him to get up and DO SOMETHING. I want him to WANT to help because he knows I need the help and that he is learning to do things on his one that most college freshman are just learning when they leave home for the first time.

2. I always try to respect his time. How often are we involved in a project or activity and know we have a task that we need to do and choose tend to the chore when you get to a stopping point. Well think about how your child feels when they are right in the middle of something really important to them, though not so important to us, and we ask them to stop on a dime and perform a task? I'm not saying I let him choose if and when he will get things done but I like to give him a time frame to get to a place where he can walk away and handle what I've asked him to do. If I always expect him to just put down what he's working on and move onto what I want done, then he will start to feel that his projects aren't important to me. Don't get me wrong, I do catch myself slipping from time to time and forgetting that his work is just that, HIS WORK, and it's important work to him! This is a hard concept for me though because I was brought up to believe that when my parents said jump my ONLY response was to be 'How high?' oh and 'Yes ma'am'. :) Respect is something we want to teach our children to give regardless of the circumstance, but I feel we have to lead by example, as with most character issues.

3. I ALWAYS want to show him my appreciation! It's easy to put together a chore chart and just expect that it get done because "that's his job", but who doesn't want to feel appreciated? This isn't to say you always need to reward them, but you SHOULD always praise them. Even if it's something so small as chores getting done earlier than normal or for doing them with a smile on his/her face, praise shows appreciation and this teaches them not just that they aren't taken for granted but also not to take others fro granted.

Well, there you have them, my super secret, ultra powerful, mom tricks! :) It helps to keep in mind that they are just smaller versions of us, constantly learning and developing what type of adult they will become. It also helps to remember that they will be the ones caring for you when you are older. LOL